Last weekend I was in Bloomington, IL and imagine my surprise as I’m going down Veteran’s Parkway to see Seoul Mama on a building! I knew instantly that I was looking at a Korean restaurant so naturally I made my mom get closer so I could see it. The closest Korean restaurant to me is at least an hour and a half away so I was really excited to see that there was going to be one only a half hour from me now!
Officially opening on January 30th, I invited Kennie and Lisa this past weekend (February 10th) to check out Seoul Mama with me. The sign captivated me right away; it was brightly lit up and I could feel my excitement growing. Walking in, the inside looks just like a traditional Korean restaurant. The music playing is very laid back (I heard Gray!) and really suits the atmosphere of a laid back, casual restaurant. I was really happy that the music wasn’t super pop-y or extremely loud; it was at the right level to provide the maximum amount of ambiance.
Of course I started out with Steamed Pork Dumplings as my starter because who doesn’t love Pork Dumplings? The Dumplings were soft without being soggy and had the right balance of pork and vegetables. I wasn’t overwhelmed by any one flavor and they held together really well when dipped in the sauce. Oh my God…..the sauce! It’s the best dipping sauce I’ve ever had! It wasn’t overly sweet like those sauces tend to be and it provided the best contrast to the savory dumpling. You get six perfectly glistening dumplings and I was very satisfied with my choice.
My main dish was Beef Bulgogi. Let me tell you…..I’ve had a lot of bulgogi in my time and this was one of the best I’ve had! I always order bulgogi whenever I go to a Korean restaurant because it’s my favorite dish. As soon as the plate was set in front of me and I heard it softly sizzling I knew I was in for a good time. The smell hit me next and it was divine! My mouth immediately started to water and that first bite was absolute bliss. The beef was a bit sweet and it melted in my mouth. My only wish is that I really wanted a bit more sauce on my bulgogi. Otherwise it was a beautiful dish!
For dessert I had hotteok! I had never heard of it before but the picture looked great so I thought why not. Turns out, Hotteok is a type of filled pancake that comes with vanilla ice cream. The pancake was soft and fluffy. The brown sugar on the inside was a great surprise and I really enjoyed the differing textures between the grainy brown sugar and the dense pancake. Combined with the pleasantly melting ice cream……I was a very happy customer!
All in all, this was a great experience for me! I definitely recommend giving Seoul Mama a try if you’re in the area! I can’t wait to go back again! ~ Jordan
Hey guys, Kennie here and I was invited to Bloomington by Jordan to try the new Korean restaurant, Seoul Mama! It was a really nice restaurant and had a very nice atmosphere that was very inviting. It had a very cozy feel to it and the staff was very kind and helpful in informing us on some of the questions we had about the menu!
They gave us some small side dishes to start with while we waited for our food. We had kimchi, spicy cucumber salad, and a potato satte (I don’t quite remember what it was). The kimchi was spicy and didn’t have an overpowering vinegar taste. The spicy cucumber salad was very delicious, the cucumber was juicy and the seasoning balanced perfectly with the cucumbers. The potatoes were also very delicious. They were shredded with carrots and were in a sauce, tasted similar to soy sauce, that didn’t overpower the potatoes and had a nice crunchy texture. All three were very delicious, and were all very nice to start with while we wait for our food.
The first thing I had was a Korean Style Vegetable pancake! It was very delicious and was a nice combination of the chewiness of the pancake and the crunchiness of the vegetables! When you dip it in the sauce, the savory sauce compliments the pancake so well and made this one of the best pancakes I’ve had!
My main dish was ramen with kimchi and bulgogi. The broth was very delicious and had a nice spicy taste to it. The noodles were chewy and cooked perfectly. The flavor of the bulgogi and the kimchi mixed wonderfully and I would most definitely order this again! I will say the if you want to try the ramen but don’t like spicier foods i would suggest ordering it without the kimchi.
I got to try their mild fried popcorn chicken as well. I was a very nice balance between the crunchiness of the outside and the moistness of the chicken. The batter was crunchy but it wasn’t as thick or greasy as a lot of American fried chicken is so if you like fried chicken but don’t want to eat your weight in grease I most definitely recommend this!
For desert I had green tea mochi ice cream! I adore mochi ice cream so I was pretty excited to try it! The mochi was chewy but not so chewy that it got stuck to my teeth and the ice cream was very creamy and melted in my mouth.
I loved this restaurant’s atmosphere and the food is absolutely delicious and I can’t wait to go back again! >Kennie